updated 02:12 pm EST, Fri February 22, 2013
Broadcaster believes product violates licensing, copyright
After being blocked in its first attempt to legally enjoin Dish Network's Hopper DVR pre-trial, Fox Broadcasting has asked a federal judge to stop customers from "place shifting" video content to smartphones and computers with the new Hopper with Sling. The suit, filed in Los Angeles, demands Dish disable the "rebroadcasting" of all content from the set top box before a trial which has yet to be scheduled.
The updated Hopper with Sling redirects either live broadcast or prerecorded programming to Internet-connected devices. All of Dish Network's channels paid for by the subscriber -- including premium programming -- are available for the place shifting. According to Fox, both the previous suit for channel skipping as well as the Sling technology integration violates existing licensing agreements, and violates Fox's copyrights.
"Fox granted Dish a limited right to retransmit Fox's signal over its satellite system, and Dish grants its subscribers the limited right to watch the programs retransmitted by Dish in their private homes. That is all," Fox said in the filing.
Dish spokesperson John Hall said in a stament that "with its latest motion, Fox continues its war against how Americans watch TV. Dish has long argued consumers have the right to privately watch shows anywhere, anytime, and it looks forward to continuing its fight on behalf of customer choice and control." A March 22 hearing is scheduled.
In November, the same judge refuted Fox's first claim against Dish, and allowed the Hopper DVR to continue being sold and remain in operation. According to the ruling, Fox Broadcasting didn't demonstrate sufficient damages from the features to justify a preliminary injunction before a full trial can take place.